In the male-dominated sport of golf, Danielle Kang is clearing a path for women as a professional player and LPGA major title winner. She came onto the golf scene as a teenager and won back to back US Women’s Amateur titles in 2010 and 2011, becoming the first woman to achieve the feat in 15 years. In addition to that, she has gone on to win the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Read on to learn more about this talented athlete who is shaking things up in the sports world.
How Danielle Kang Has Built An Interesting Career
Danielle Kang became interested in golf as a child when she witnessed her senior brother, Alex, play. She initially had her eyes on taekwondo and earned a second-degree black belt at the age of seven but she chose to make a transition to golf at the age of 12 under the guidance of Scott Schopp, a golf instructor. Two years later, in 2007, she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship. Kang has revealed that golfing only became a passion for her because her brother always beat her when they played together and she wanted to do all it would take to beat him at the game.
When she was at Pepperdine University, Kang played golf with the school team and in 2010, she won the U.S. Women’s Amateur title by beating Jessica Korda who was considered the favourite to win the Cox Trophy. Winning the title led to her leaving Pepperdine where she already had issues because of her grades.
By the following year, she competed in the four major championships for women, including the prestigious LPGA Championship. It was in that same year that Kang became a professional player of the sport. In August 2011, she won the U.S. Women’s Amateur again for a second time by beating Moriya Jutanugarn and in the process, she ended a 15-year record of consecutive title wins as she became the first to do so in 15 years.
After the successful year she had in 2011, Danielle Kang’s career went into a rut until 2017 when she produced her most top tens ever in a single season – six. She also won the KPMG Women PGA Championship at Olympia Fields in the same season. She made her highest earnings ($1,005,983) in the same year which saw her finish 17th in the country, a career-best.
Meet Her Family That Inspired Her Golf Career
Danielle Kang was born to K.S. Kang and Grace Lee on the 20th of October, 1992 in San Francisco, California; she is Korean-American. Her father, K.S. Kang always caddied for her on her tours before he passed away in 2013 after losing his battle with cancer of the lungs and brain. He was her caddie when she won back to back women amateur golf titles in 2010 and 2011. Following her 2017 victory at the KPMG Women PGA Championship, Kang paid a tribute to him on Instagram where she posted a picture showing a caddie bib from the KPMG tournament, a face cap, a can of coke and flowers by her father’s graveside with the caption “We did it!”
Her brother, Alex Kang, who was born on June 24, 1990, also in San Francisco, started playing golf when he was 13 years old in South Korea where their father used to work. He was an inspiration to her while growing up as they always played together. Alex started off as a soccer player and played as a forward but started looking for another sport to fit into when he realized he wasn’t good enough for soccer. Kang says she relies on her brother as her friend and ally, which is no wonder he took their father’s position as her caddie.
Is Danielle Kang Dating Anyone At The Moment?
When Kang’s career kicked off, there were speculations about the state of her romantic relationships and many fans wanted to know if she had a boyfriend. In 2019, she was able to give the answer that people wanted to hear, revealing that she was dating fellow golfer, Maverick McNealy. The couple met in Los Angeles at The Summit Club and according to McNealy, he is still a baby golfer compared to Kang. Without a doubt, it is apparent Maverick McNealy knows he is with an amazing woman.